Watch Dog's appetite for video RAM seems to be the root cause of performance problems on the PC
After all the anticipation and patient waiting, Ubisoft's Watch Dogs title arrived on PC and several different game consoles earlier this week. Unfortunately, performance on the PC isn't up to par. Users have complained of lag, stuttering, and weird graphical anomalies when playing Watch Dogs, all of which appear to be due to the game's heavy reliance on VRAM. That's the bad news. The good news is that a performance patch for Watch Dogs on PC is coming.
Sebastien Viard, graphics technical director for Watch Dogs, explained the issue in a handful of Twitter posts.
"Watch Dogs can use 3+ GB of RAM on NG consoles for graphics, your PC GPU needs enough VRAM for ultra options due to the lack of unified mem," Viard tweeted.
Unlike graphics cards for the PC, next-generation consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 don't have dedicated RAM for graphics -- both consoles share 8GB across the entire system. Apparently this is causing issues on the PC with the way Watch Dogs is coded.
There are some steps you can take while you wait for a patch. First and foremost, be sure you're running the latest graphics card drivers from AMD and Nvidia. And secondly, Viard suggests turning down texture quality, level of Anti-Aliasing, or even display resolution.
"Making an open world run on NG & CG consoles + supporting PC is an incredibly complex task, the team did a fantastic job. Congrats, guys!," Viard tweeted.